House without Windows

 

House without Windows

House Without Windows

Acrylic Painting by Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

 

The Painting was inspired by the quote below by Nadia Hashimi and her book House Without Windows.

 

“Children always forgive their mothers. That’s the way God’s designed them. He gives them two arms, two legs, and a heart that will cry ‘mother’ until the day it stops beating.”

― Nadia Hashimi

The Cost of Freedom…

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Ancestors have served in the military for more than 150 years, all served their respective states with pride. Even though the Civil War was for many reasons both good and bad, all were still soldiers with many giving their lives for their beliefs. Although the poem written at the bottom of this narrative are in fact my mother’s brothers; these boys served in WW I and the Korean War.  The ancestors are Murphree, Roberts, White,  and Vest; members of these families have served in American Revolutionary War, Cherokee–American Wars, Creek War, Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korean Conflict. I also want to honor my son and say thank you for  your service in the United States Air Force.

The Cost of Freedom

Standing in what looked like a sea of white as a warm afternoon breeze touched their bronzed faces three young men rode home in an old wagon through fields of cotton unaware that their youth would soon be forgotten.

There was a time when they were three babies crawling at their mothers feet waiting patiently for warm sweet milk and tea cakes luxuries in their world, a poor mans’ treat.

Their mother insisted they go to school and discover their own dreams she vowed at their birth that her children would not break their backs or sell their souls working as poor farmers in the cotton fields planting, hoeing and picking the south’s white gold.

Eighteen, nineteen and twenty years old, they had never known anything but working the red southern soil day after day sacrificing their mothers’ dream for very little pay.

Threadbare overalls shirtless and shoeless they stopped at the dirt road leading to the farm they called home knowing that this way of life was quickly to end their decisions saddened their father broke their mothers’ heart leaving it so crushed that it would never mend.

They reached a nearby creek at setting sun sipped on moonshine laughed had one last day of fun then left for home. It was no more than a shack but supper always a feast for kings then they crawled into cornhusk beds it was a hard life but a life where they knew that they belonged.

Then one winter day it all changed as proud Americans that wore their pride like armor there was no question they would answer the call, not only for them but also for us all.

It was early morning when their father stood quietly drawing on his old pipe under the old oak tree thinking of the warmth of the coming spring while their mother sat in her rocking chair afraid of what the future would bring.

One by one they walk out the door childish faces broad smiles shinny shoes starched uniforms. Three young men proudly walked down the old dirt road that day no one knew when or if they would ever return but these young men knew it was to defend freedom an endowment blessed with the day they were born.

Mother and father held each other as they slowly walked into their home and closed the door while their three young sons walked away straight and tall ready to fight a war in a land they did not know on a faraway shore.

The window of their house proudly displayed three gold stars the days gradually turned into years their mothers’ heart had stopped beating death had finally stopped her tears. Their father grew old as he walked fallow land alone with his life consumed by his many fears.

Then one day as he stood beneath the oak tree drawing in the smoke from his old pipe while thoughts begin to drift back on his life. He wondered where it had gone but knowing that their mother at last is happy that her young sons were finally coming home.

He stared down the road as three shadowy figures grew closer would he recognize them he could not even remember how long it had been. Their youth was gone their smiles were drawn the war returned his sons now three broken and scarred old men.

 

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Ann Johnson-Murphree

 

With Death comes Freedom…

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A short-short story…Freedom
He was a young man, bitter with his life and he did not suppress his tongue, life was arguments and questions. He needed no prompting; his waking hours seem devoted to causing weeping. He rarely laughed; he had a skill for creating pain, even in his passionate moments. His joy was to reign over his human possession, his wife. She would cease to have a will of her own, she was afraid and she obeyed.
To serve, to have no mind of her own, she too thought he owned her. Women were mistresses of his heart, yet there was no freedom for his own wife. She was not his equal, when he was with her his words brought new-bleeding to her heart. He was only satisfied when he drew blood, his appetite for hurting never ceased.
Their vows he had broken thousands of times. His mouth foul and dishonest, an adulterous heart beat within his broad barrel chest. The past, his youth, his suffering, maybe at the hands of another. Had this brought him to this day? He was not true or kind; he felt no shame in the bruises he left behind. Among those who knew him, he could do no harm; these people did not know him.
She had not asked for pearls or rubies, and she did not ask that her blood be shed. His moods released terror in his path, and his wife lay like twisted metal after it had met with deadly winds. She felt no worth, or equalities, only the wrath of his sickly attempts to have her go mad.
His affections never tender. His wife like a lamb at the altar of his desires. Spirits sought her, he kept them at a cold distance, and it was he and only he that owned her. The scars of battle went unseen, she was a caged animal. His victory did not make her weak; her bosoms may belong to him as he drank from the fountain of her youth. Her discipline held by grace, she vowed to never give in to the bond he commanded.
She tore loose from those bonds screaming, “Your fist no longer stings, my stomach no longer will live in knots, and my body will no longer be confined. Your torture inflames my spirit; I no longer cringe in shame. I will no longer suffer the pain; I will no longer live in shock or fear. My heart breaks, God did not design for it to be this way.”
She asks herself did my torturer have a soul; did he take an oath with the Devil? She did not weep, she did not cry, she did not show fear, “It is the last time,” she thought. She was not aware of the time that he poisoned her, but she knew now that she was going to die. He would never let her leave him, with her face covered with weeping water, one could barely hear her moans, and she could not escape the tragedy of her life. She will fall into a sleep from which she would not wake. Her final thought danced across her dying mind finally, she was free.

 

©2018.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

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Black Feathered Angels…

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Black Feathered Angels…

I have enough memories from the past to last me for the rest of my life. My unstinted memory will not bury them so deep that I cannot bring them to the surface in a moment’s notice.

In the deep recesses of my mind, I see a small country church, a chorus of crows; the splashing sounds of the brook running through the Birch trees. The wind caressing the colossal row of Oaks in the field. All memories from my early days.

I see death, going down a road moving away from the weathered house of worship, a wagon pulled by six black horses, followed by black feathered angels. No longer will the water beneath the Birch taste fresh and cool, nor will the winds surrounding the Oaks embrace warm flesh.

I relive a sad memory, my great-grandmother’s heart has been silenced, and the rocker on the porch stilled, no hand wave’s goodbye anymore. In a cobwebbed corner of the room where she slept, the sun shines through a cloudy window, as the image of tattered curtains dance in a nearby mirror. Everyone we love soon leaves us.

Sitting on the steps of that old weathered church, I have but one memory and that childhood is dead.

 

©2018elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

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Is the man we believe to be God untrue?

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AUTHORS NOTE: 40 writers wrote the Bible over a span of 1500 years. Unlike other religious writings, the Bible reads as a factual news account of real events, places, people, and dialogue. Historians and archaeologists have repeatedly confirmed its authenticity. Using the writers’ own writing styles and personalities, God shows us who he is and what it is like to know him. There is one central message consistently carried by all 40 writers of the Bible: God, who created us all, desires a relationship with us. He calls us to know him and trust him. The Bible not only inspires us, it explains life and God to us. It does not answer all the questions we might have, but enough of them. It shows us how to live with purpose and compassion. How to relate to others. It encourages us to rely on God for strength, direction, and enjoy his love for us. The Bible also tells us how we can have eternal life. Multiple categories of evidence support the historical accuracy of the Bible as well as its claim to divine authorship.
Nonetheless, as a person who questions many things in life, I believe in God, I do not fear him; I should have no fear if he is my father. I believe many of the things written in the Bible, I also question many of the things. If the Bible had forty authors, as a writer myself I do not believe that the many translations over 1500 years can remain consistent to the original. We all need something to believe in, first believe in you.

***

Is the man we believe to be God untrue?

Did he create the patterns of the world, humans, animals, plants, trees and with his care the world evolved, it grew. Did he smile upon us, even in our defiling times? Through unspoken words, did he create beauty with his colorful art, with only a thought did this come from his loving heart?

Is “He” with us in thought during our times of fear and suffering, if we call unto him does he hear? Is he a myth, a creation of the imagination? Does he forgive for all offences, or is it us that created him through thought and wanting senses? The Bible, a book we are told to believe and understand. Yet, forty authors wrote this book down through the ages, was it written to control the masses, or was it God’s creation. Did “He” put the thoughts in their minds when they begin to write, or did they create this man like a character in a book, his words, and his look?

Among many that want to control the heart, wants us to believe, do these many authors also want to deceive? These preachers of the Book, do they speak to free souls from sin, do they take pearls, rubies, silver and gold telling us it will ease our pain. Do they preach and beg for riches; are all their efforts only for gain? They desire the tender that many will leave in the offering tray in order to receive God’s blessing must we pay? Oh preacher advance your flawed hand, your smiles, your tears, are you, yourself engulfed in fear?

These words are not to offend the Christian way, or remove the Holiest of Books, to disbelieve, nor sanctify a learned way. The scars of battle, must we try to be valiant and hold the spirit up to the highest aspiration. Must we have a religious heart or a caged spirit deep within our chest that holds you to the highest purpose in life? First love yourself; therefore, you are what you believe. You are responsible for the pains you suffer, it does not come from forces unseen, shock or fear, live within your own strength and goodness and is it possible that hell is no doubt the things we must face while walking upon this earth.

Yes, upon yourself depend; be responsible for your own passion, your own tears. Do not believe “He” takes what he wants and leaves us in fear; believe in yourself and be responsible for wiping away your own tears. If it is your desire to believe that you will someday walk upon a different plane, that there is a world waiting where love is like a constant burning flame. If this belief makes your heart fly, your spirits soar, to see your love one waiting on that Heavenly Shore. If you want to believe then you have nothing to fear, the life you are leading is up to you, yet, there are times when one must ask the question, is the man we believe to be God untrue?

 

©2018.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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Study the Universe with open eyes…

 

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In anticipation of journeys end the soul shrouds itself in love as it travels through the rampant winds of unknown tomorrows aware of paths leading into happiness or sorrow.
Created within a universe filled with mystery, if life beyond the grave is what we believe why in death do we grieve? As children, our lives are open to the wisdom of those who would be our caretakers; we have faith that they are wise decision makers.
If we believe that our souls descended from that mysterious place beyond the universe created by a loving entity; then must we accept as truth the promise that love will surround us for all eternity?
We struggle as young adults to find our way through life while it is someone else’s beliefs that we are taught to disagree we soon find that this battle of one’s freedom in self-belief is one that is not easily fought.
Fighting against rule makers is a waste of time; their beliefs are set in stone and to change them is impossible as they shut their eyes and close their minds. As childhood and youth fades away it leaves a confused soul, holding onto the crumbling pages filled with knowledge and truth never told.
The desire for serenity in our hearts comes alive as we study the universe, life’s forces with open eyes; love and truth are never far apart.

 
©2018.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Life’s Seasons…

 

26.Black Wing Dragonfly
Black Wing Dragonfly by Elizabeth Ann- Watercolor-2010

 

 

Life’s Seasons…

Making yourself live without contact with others,

you are doomed. Like the flowers of summer

without human contact, the soul may cease to bloom.
Time and stillness may be an important need; to

reject sharing life with others, may be the greatest

form of greed. Purpose has its seasons, life follows

a well-planned path; your journey has a reason.
Clearing the mind and restoring the spirit will smooth

any rutted road; listen, there is a plan of how your life

should unfold. You may be on the right path today; the

journey may seem rough, the essence and energy of your

spirit will find the true way.
“Gratefulness, awareness and God’s grace is woven within

the fabric of your being for a reason. Devote today to

discovering your true self create your own season.”

 

©2018.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree